Benjamin Netanyahu In Tight Spot Over Orthodox Draft Exemption

Coalition Stymied by Pact Between Bennett and Lapid

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Netanyahu, 63, made the remarks during a stiff, formal audience with President Shimon Peres, who approved the prime minister’s request for more time to build a coalition.

A 28-day period to do so has already expired and if Netanyahu - now with an extra 14 days - fails to break the deadlock in coalition talks by March 16, Peres can pick another candidate or call a snap election.

So far, Netanyahu has recruited only one party, centrist Hatnua, led by former foreign minister Tzipi Livni. He was due to hold further talks with Bennett later on Sunday.

On his Facebook page, Lapid said he did not believe that Netanyahu’s current ultra-Orthodox allies, Shas and United Torah Judaism, could be part of a government that wants to make fundamental changes in state benefits for the devout.

“Politicians sometimes have to be ready to pay the price of their convictions. The only conclusion is that it would be no tragedy if they sit in the opposition in the coming term,” Lapid wrote about the religious parties.

Shas leader Eli Yishai appeared to concede on Sunday, saying on Facebook: “In the coming days, a government will finally be formed, without the ultra-Orthodox.”

With Yesh Atid, Jewish Home and Hatnua - and excluding the ultra-Orthodox, who won 18 parliamentary seats - Netanyahu could have a majority government controlling 68 seats. Recruitment of another centrist party, Kadima, would give him 70 seats.

But it could be an uncomfortable mix for Netanyahu, whose government’s survival would then be in Bennett’s and Lapid’s hands, vulnerable to their differences over peace talks.

Netanyahu has pledged ahead of a visit later this month by U.S. President Barack Obama, to try to move forward in peace efforts stalled for the past two years in a dispute over his refusal to halt Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank.

Lapid wants to restart the peace negotiations. Bennett would likely oppose any move to renew a settlement construction freeze sought by the Palestinians.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.